WEIRTON - Despite the difficulties faced by residents of the Northern Panhandle, there is still hope for the future.
That was the message sent out Thursday during the city's observance of the National Day of Prayer, as residents, clergy and city officials gathered in front of the City Building to offer prayers for the community, the nation and its leaders.
Mayor George Kondik, in reading a proclamation for the National Day of Prayer, thanked the local clergy for their service, noting they are available for many of the community's most important events.
PROCLAMATION READ — Weirton Mayor George Kondik read a proclamation Thursday recognizing the National Day of Prayer observance in the community. Standing behind Kondik are local clergy and other city officials who took part in the event. - Craig Howell
Bishop J.D. Wall of Tri-State Church of God led a prayer for the church itself and encouraged residents to always pray for themselves and others, no matter a person's beliefs or whether they agree with each other.
"Jesus Christ is the only answer," Wall said.
The Rev. Darrell Maze of Kings Creek Union Chapel offered prayers for the government.
Prayers for the nation's military were offered by the Rev. Peter Leonovich of Weirton Alliance Church, encouraging those in attendance to offer up their own prayers for those in uniform, their commanding officers and their families.
"The one incredible element of our soldiers is they are so human," he said.
Leonovich said he believes having faith is important for a community and can be the key in leading to a bright future.
"As long as our leaders believe, the best is yet to come," Leonovich said.
Tom Derby, minister at Colliers Way Church of Christ, prayed for the families of Weirton and other local communities, saying they can all find answers to their problems through God.
"We need so much for good mothers and fathers to bring up good, Godly children," Derby said.
The Rev. Craig Greathouse of the Family of God Christian Center led a prayer for the community itself, acknowledging the difficulties it has faced but also noting some of the good things taking place in recent years.
National Day of Prayer is an annual day of observance when Americans are asked to take time for prayer and meditation. It was enacted by Congress in 1952, although observances in the United States date back to 1779.